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Elizabeth Blood

Elizabeth Blood 1833 - 1883

Elizabeth Blood was born Dec 19, 1833, in Oil City, Venango Co., PA, the daughter of John Blood and Elizabeth Masterson. She married Horatio Nelson Gage in Wisconsin in 1856, and they had eight children. Their first son Stephen is shown with his mother. The picture was taken in 1858.

BIOGRAPHY: Horatio Nelson Gage and his wife Elizabeth established a ranch in 1876, near the mouth of Duck Creek on the north side of Yellowstone, near the hot springs. In 1877, her husband built a stage stop to accommodate stagecoach passengers on the line from Miles City to Bozeman, complete with saloon and restaurant, the first in the region. The following year, however, Nelson Gage had a fatal heart attack, leaving Elizabeth with seven children to rear. The widow took over Gage Station and began to farm the homestead as well as invest in cattle.

Another family tragedy occurred the year after Nelson Gage died; their son Stephen drowned in the Yellowstone trying to save Nelson Story's foreman and a colt; all perished. Their bodies were not found for five months. The Gages had more troubles; son John accidentally shot brother Horatio in the stomach; he died a few minutes later. Grief stricken, John died within a few months.

Elizabeth Gage also lost two daughters who died at the Helena Girls School in MT. The two surviving children, Josephine and Dora, both married and lived nearby. In January 1882, high winds caused flying sparks to burn down the Gage establishment. Knowing that construction of the railroad was imminent, the Gages rebuilt some of the buildings and opened a road house. Elizabeth died in 1883 in Big Timber, Sweetgrass Co., MT.

Information from “Montana Sweet Grass Country: from Melville to the Boulder River Valley”, by Phyllis Smith.